Tales from the Kitchen

Kitchen table discussions with recipes and ideas for shopping on a budget, cooking for a family, meal planning.

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I'm happily married, mom to four boys and four girls at home, with one in the presence of God. We are slowly working on raising our own food and making much of what we need. I knit, cook, read, pray, think, write, crochet, and I'm trying to sew, too.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Dinner Last Night

Stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home from church. I needed to pick up a few things, and I browsed a little as well. I found the roasted corn that I had heard about, so I picked that up. We had chicken thawing at home, and canned black beans and rice. So, I bought some of their salsa verde and roasted garlic salsa. At home, Rich grilled the chicken while I sliced strawberries for shortcake. I made an almond buttermilk shortcake and we had heavy cream in the refrigerator already.

Lisa called and wanted to drop off some things she no longer needed, as she is moving, and we invited her and her son to come to dinner with us. After that, I put some rice on to cook, and heated up both the salsas with the roasted corn and a can of black beans, very minimally drained. Heated that up while the last of the chicken cooked and the rice finished steaming and Lisa made a salad. She also brought strawberry swirl ice cream.

We served with a bed of rice, sliced grilled chicken on top and the salsa/corn/black bean stuff on top, salad on the side. It went over well with all of the grownups and kids. Dessert went over even better.

I split the shortcakes, piled on strawberries and drizzled with the strawberry syrup made with the sugar, piped some whipped cream on and sandwiched the top on, then topped with a little dab more of the whipped cream and another drizzle of strawberry syrup. We scooped some ice cream on the side.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rice Crispy Computer

Friday morning, while trying to renew some books on the library website, my computer went crackle, crackle pop! And died. No snap, but the tube in the monitor seems to be completely gone and the power source has a short in it. I have a temporary computer while we try to fix the power source and get me a new (to me) computer. It looks like we have a good source for one that we can get this weekend or next week. I won't be posting as much, and no photos for a little while.

The church camp out is coming up, though, and I will post as much about the food for that as I can. I have already made a cranberry keeping cake, will be making chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, molasses cookies, coconut jumbles, brownies, oatmeal cookies, almond puff pastry, cornbread, potato salad, pasta sauce, and probably something else to bring with us.

When I get the computer thing dealt with, I will post photos from camp as soon as I can.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Preschool Snacks

This month's colors are black and white. Today was Dominic's final turn at being the child of the day. So, what did I do last night? I made oreos:

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The class loved them. He asked me to make ants on a log as well, and I did, even though the kids rebelled and told him they didn't like his mother's food the last time I made them for the class. Whatever, it was his day, and he wanted them. I just made fewer. He and the two other well behaved, good mannered children in the class whose mothers have made them wholesome food at home and taught them to eat what is given them without complaint could eat them if the other children didn't.

I added a large pitcher of pink lemonade and snack it was.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pot Luck Report

Well, aside from the things I've already described, we had:

Beer Bratwurst
Cheese Bratwurst
Mixed Peppers & Onions Sauteed in Butter for the Brats
Cucumbers in Soy-Ginger Marinade
Sunflower Seed Bread
French Bread
Lime Jello-Fruit Salad
Rhubarb Cake
Blueberry Pie
Carrot Cake
Pumpkin Cake

There were also some crock pot beans, but they didn't soften until the last family left, so they ate them for dinner the following day.

We ate well and were stuffed. Even though it sprinkled, we all had a great time.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Tongues of Flame Barbecue

We have four pounds of chicken, three pounds of shrimp, three pounds of lamb riblets, just over four pounds of a butterflied leg of lamb and six pounds of chuck steak sitting in our fridge right now, marinating.

Our church is coming over for our second annual Pentecost Tongues of Flame Barbecue. Last year's was such a success, and we had so much fun, that we decided to do it each year. Pentecost kind of snuck up on us, though, because my day timer doesn't have it on the calendar (they are probably not Christian or Jewish) and it's a moveable feast. We did not have time to plan for a talent show (because of the gifts of the Spirit bestowed on that day), but we are going to have one on the campout in June.

Anyway, the meat. The chicken is in a pseudo-teriyaki marinade with soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, Sprite, garlic, ginger, scallions, salt and pepper. The lamb is in an herb marinade, olive oil, garlic, chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. The shrimp is in olive oil, white wine, beer, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce and something else I can't remember at the moment. The riblets are in lemon juice, olive oil and authentic Greek salt and msg, aka Cavender's Seasoning. The chuck steak is actually not marinating. It is in the fridge awaiting the salt and pepper and slow cooking in the oven. We don't have a smoker and it is too tough and thick to cook on our grills, so oven it is, but we really like it this way.

I will have a full food report Monday, as it is potluck. I know that there is a blueberry pie coming, and bratwurst.

Monday, May 09, 2005


We were rained in. So, we had an indoor picnic on our dining room table.

Just let that sink in a minute.

We had a fabulous brunch at church! I am so glad I brought those chickens, though, because almost everything else was sweet. There was a fruit and custard tart, a strawberry pie, frosted pumpkin cake, a banana-walnut bread pudding, the banana bread, bagels, a salad and the chicken.

Our indoor picnic was nice, too. I invited a friend of mine over with her son (her lousy ex-husband who left her for a floozy not being around to help his son celebrate her) and we ate our grilled chicken, crunchy slaw, croissants and whatever else we picked at to our hearts' content. We also had a great time talking about politics and religion, and marvelling at how much our views had changed since we were in school.

The banoffee tart turned out more like soup, but a tasty, coffee-caramel soup. We ate it anyway. Cut up some strawberries to add to the mix and enjoyed. I think the amount of liquid in the recipe must have been a typo.

Anyway, that is all for now. I'm contemplating writing novels just so I won't have to yell at the otherwise nice books I read for the idiotic political points they stick in at random points which don't even have anything to do with the plot.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day Cooking

Other mothers may wish for a break from cooking on Mother's Day, but not I. I spent today cooking both for our family picnic and for a church brunch. How else can I guarantee that I will get the food I like? All I care is that I don't have to do the dishes.

At our brunch after church, the fathers and children will be serving us ladies and cleaning up. That is just how I like it. For the brunch, I've made a banana nut bread and two sticky chickens. Our family celebration will be homemade croissants, the dough is rising in the fridge as I type, that church potluck crunchy slaw with the ramen noodles and sesame seeds and nuts, grilled chicken tenderloins (which is marinating in the fridge), and a chocolate, coffee, caramel, banana pie. With whipped cream.

Don't you wish I was your mother?